In today’s world research can save you all kinds of time and money. In the world of the World Wide Web auction sites research is a “must do first.” A lot of people are making purchases for all kinds of things via the “net” because of the convince, time savings, or just laziness. But whatever the reasons, it is also a way for people to buy musical instruments. So for those of you who are thinking about buying your next or first musical instrument off of an auction site need my warnings.
Be knowledgeable people, know the brands. On the auction sites there are many people vying for your attention. One of the techniques to gain that traffic to their area is to post brand names of instruments that they may or may not have for you to buy. It’s a little marketing tool used to draw traffic to their product. Know what it is that you are looking for. Just because you see something similar on the auction today, don’t think, “If I don’t get this thing now it will be gone!” Maybe it will be but unless you are in a hurry to buy an instrument you can wait. The one you were looking for is still out there to be posted. Give it time.
Make sure that you pay very close attention to details. The way that the posting describes the item may not be how it arrives. How is the finish described? Does the picture match the description or at least the actual instrument that you are looking to buy? Manufacturing details? How about parts that have been added or changed? These things should match up to what the actual musical instrument is like as possible. Sweating the small stuff here could save you a lot of disappointment down the road. When all the details line up, it leaves you with the sense that you are actually buying the instrument that you have in mind. Obtaining serial numbers if you can will add to your peace of mind when buying a musical instrument from an online auction site.
Last but not least, knowledge is power! Make sure that you know the retail value of a brand new musical instrument by brand name, model, skill level, and condition before spending one dime on your purchase. It is so easy to get caught up in a bidding war. The idea here is to get a great deal, remember? It’s not a deal unless you know that you are paying a substantial amount less than if you were buying it brand new.